Review: Seeing Julia by Katherine Clare Owen

Seeing Julia by Katherine Clare Owen
Release Date: May 20, 2011
Publisher: The Writing Works Group
Page Count: 326
Source: From the author for review

With her husbands, Evan’s tragic death, Julia Hamilton considers only one truth: death abducts the dying, but grief steals from those left behind. At the funeral, a despondent Julia encounters Jake Winston, Evan’s mysterious best friend, which leads to an inexplicable connection that saves her life, but leaves her questioning everything else. Unsettled by Jake and grief, she escapes to Paris with her young son and her inner circle, Kimberley and Stephanie. Months later, Julia returns to the life she left behind in New York intent on finding out where things stand between her and Jake, but soon learns the venerable attorney has complications of his own. But it’s the revelation of betrayal by the one person she thought she knew that leads Julia to embark on a personal journey in search of the truth about her life, herself, and the answers to her most difficult questions. Can she trust anyone? Or, does she need to learn to trust herself, most of all?

Review:  Seeing Julia by Katherine Clare Owen is a moving, emotional and turbulent ride through the eyes of a young widow. Julia has had a lot of tragedy in her nearly 30 years of life, starting with the loss of her parents at 16. The scenes described, such as the funeral scene, is a no holds barred description of what Julia is going through. You really feel her pain and desolation at the loss of her husband.

While the story details the sorrow and devastation Julia is going through, and the infallible support from her inner circle, it drags it out and makes you feel depressed. The story is well written, but you almost feel like you are in mourning yourself. Almost the entire book is about Julia’s coping, or lack of coping, with the loss of her husband. She is refusing to move on and, even though she is a new mom, she neglects her child. There are token mentions of him here and there but it seems that when he doesn’t ‘fit’ into the flow of the story, a nanny or friend is there to just take over his care.

The story gets better for a while when she finds out things about her husband and revelations are made about him that Julia didn’t know. But she makes these ‘grand plans’ to get her life back on track and winds up back into the not coping, black hole life she’d been living in since the death of her husband. There is also the intrigue of Jake’s fiancee that stirs up some interest and it’s the highlight of Julia coming back from the abyss of unbearable grief.

Jake is someone Julia meet once when she was 15. She doesn’t realize who he is, but he’s known for a long time and is just waiting for her to realize who he is. The relationship between them at times is well written and believable, but at other times, it’s not realistic. At the end of the story, Julia manages to get her entire life in order in a matter of a few pages. Julia and Jake manage to come to terms with all the ‘secrets’ and insecurities, and in the end, declare their undying love for each other. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Jake declares his love, but for Julia to do a complete turnaround and declare her undying love so fast is. Normally, a happy ending is exactly what a reader wants, but this seemed to be too neatly tied up, too fast to be in line with the rest of the book.

I wouldn’t re-read this book, but it was interesting enough to want to see how it ended. It isn’t something I would recommend to everyone, but those that like stories that tug at the heartstrings and evoke strong feelings would enjoy this story. It is more of a true to life story of grief and sorrow, well written, but hard to feel happy when reading.


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